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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

The competitors have a leg up on the aged design of the PT Cruiser in almost all areas. If you are looking for a hatchback wagon with better performance, the truth is out there.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The PT Cruiser was introduced in 2001 as a kind of retro throwback wagon that ticked all the boxes of a fad quick to blow over. Indeed, by 2009 the fad is long dead. However, the design of the PT Cruiser is the same.

The PT Cruiser comes in three trim levels: the base, Touring, Limited models.

The Range

Body Styles: wagon
Engines: 2.4-liter double overhead cam, Limited turbo charged engine
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Base, Touring, Limited

What's New

The 2009 PT Cruiser drops the convertible model and is now only available as a wagon version. Also, the turbocharged engine on the Touring model is dropped.

Exterior

The exterior of the PT Cruiser is much like it has always been. It has a retro hatchback look that is either described as beautiful or hearse-like. The base PT Cruiser is available in six colors, the Limited in eight, and the Touring in 12 variations.

There are lots of features on the exterior. A rear spoiler is included on all models. The Limited and Touring editions have privacy glass included. All versions have intermittent wipers. The base model has the standard 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, upgrading an inch on every trim line.

All models are 67-inches wide and 63-inches tall. The base model curb weight is 3070 pounds, with the Limited and Touring weighing in at 3222 pounds.

The standard model comes with 15-inch steel wheels. The Touring model has 16-inch alloy wheels. The Limited version upgrades the wheels to 17-inch alloy and adds the Touring suspension system.

Interior

The interior of the PT Cruiser is one of its best features. Everything is roomy and accessible. The dash is in a retro design much like the exterior of the car, giving the PT Cruiser a uniform appearance inside and out. The car seems to be built for taller drivers, since the seat rides high and cannot be adjusted. Rear seats are slightly elevated as well to give passengers in the back a clear view out the front windshield. There is plenty of leg and headroom in the back, making for a comfortable ride.

Latches on the rear seats allow you to fold the seats forward for greater cargo space. For a flat floor, the seats can be removed completely. Removing the seats give you 63 cubic feet of cargo space.

T

he standard model comes with air conditioning, keyless entry, other power accessories and a CD player. The Touring model adds a few extra features including a folding passenger seat for more cargo room, power driver’s seat, power mirrors, cruise control and upgraded materials. Satellite radio is also standard. The Limited version upgrades to heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a sunroof. The Limited trim model also includes Boston Acoustic audio and Bluetooth connectivity.

Performance & Handling

The base PT Cruiser has a 2.4-liter double overhead cam that produces 150 horsepower with 165 pound-feet of torque. A turbo charged engine is available on the limited model that produces 180 horsepower with 210 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic controls the base engine, and a four-speed automatic is included in the Limited vehicle. The acceleration of the PT Cruiser equipped with the base model engine is sluggish and underpowered. The Limited turbo charged engine feels a bit more comfortable.

Handling is decent, but the turning radius of the PT Cruiser is huge due to its hatchback design. The suspension is amazing however, swallowing even large bumps and leaving you with a smooth ride.

Safety

The base model and Touring edition of the PT Cruiser have front and rear drum brakes with the Limited version receiving a four-wheel disc brake upgrade. Side airbags are also standard on all models.

Government safety tests give the PT Cruiser four out of five stars on front and side-impact collisions.

EPA Fuel Economy

Base engine without the turbo charge: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Turbocharged engine: 18/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • The retro design of the vehicle is still a big draw for some drivers.
  • The spacious cabin and storage area is also a plus.
  • The turbocharged engine can be quite fun when it is opened up on the highway.
  • Lots of legroom and headroom for all passengers.
The removable back seat is also a cool feature.

You Won't Like

  • Unfortunately, much of the mechanics on the PT Cruiser feel out of date.
  • The base engine is downright sluggish and fails to sync up properly with the handling.
  • The fuel economy out of the engine is abysmal for such a small car.
  • The seating position is a bit funny for shorter drivers and may be impossible to use.

Sum Up

The competitors have a leg up on the aged design of the PT Cruiser in almost all areas. If you are looking for a hatchback wagon with better performance, the truth is out there.

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